THE CANARY Wharf building boom is set to gather momentum next year after developer Paul
Reichmann signalled a return to speculative building for the first time since the 1980s.
The Canadian chairman of Canary Wharf unveiled plans to build 100,000 sq m of floor space each year between now and 2004. Work is scheduled to start on the first 18,580 sq m building at Columbus Courtyard early next year.
A Canary Wharf spokeswoman said the building plans came on the back of a 'fantastic 12 months' for the development.
She said 92 per cent of existing space in Canary Wharf's 10 buildings is now let.
'The plans signal confidence has returned to the property market. We are sure we can fill the new building, there is a lot of interest in new build,' she said.
Canary Wharf has not yet firmed up plans for the office development and this includes deciding how the work will be tendered out.
Mr Reichmann also unveiled plans to build a new shopping centre under Canada Square park which will expand to cover about 1 ha. A new one-storey retail centre will be built beneath the park, with three levels of parking for up to 1,000 cars.
And three architects have been commissioned to come up with a new master plan for part of the
development which will be built at Heron Quays.
Mr Reichmann said Canary Wharf was now committed to having at least one building under construction throughout the next seven years.
Development work at Canary Wharf is already booming with 150,000 sq m of office space being built at present. Projects include a new £150 million headquarters for the Credit Suisse First Boston bank.
Mr Reichmann's family company Olympia & York were behind the original development which ran into financial trouble in the early 1990s.